Former Safaricom Chief Executive Officer and Board Chairman, Michael Joseph has been appointed as the new board chairman for a Kenyan insurtech startup, Pula. Michael will be the board chairman at Pula effective September 19.
Founded by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru in 2015, Pula is an agricultural insurance and technology company that designs and delivers innovative agricultural insurance and digital products to help smallholder farmers endure yield risks, improve their farming practices, and bolster their incomes over time.
Michael Joseph is known by many as the founding CEO of Safaricom. He helped the telco to grow from a subscriber base of about 18,000 in 2000 to over 17 million at the time of his retirement in 2010.
He is also sometimes referred to as the father of M-Pesa, as he supported the launch of the financial technology that is considered the best in Africa, to this day. He is also responsible for taking the telco public in Jube 2008 via an initial public offering that raised Ksh 50 billion for the government.
“His experience and strong knowledge of scaling companies in African markets aligns with Pula’s ambitions. This puts him in an ideal position to lead Pula’s growth in insuring smallholder farmers in new markets,” said Thomas Njeru, one of Pula’s founders.
“I am looking forward to guiding Pula as it continues its growth and hope to push the company to do even better,” said Mr Joseph on his appointment.”
Mr Joseph holds multiple executive and non-executive roles within the larger Vodafone Group including at Safaricom where he is still serving on the board. He is also the chairman of national carrier Kenya Airways.
He is also the director of mobile money at Vodafone Group Services and Vodafone’s strategic adviser appointed to the board of its subsidiaries, including Vodacom Tanzania.